This week I’m bringing a special conversation to the podcast between myself and one of my favorite people in the world, Lisa Hatlestad. Lisa and I have been friends for many years and we both trained at The Life Coach School, and we’re talking all about something exciting that will be happening in the world in Spring 2023: our upcoming project the Sexual Intimacy Coaching School – what?!
As you already know, Diamonds, I have a goal to impact the sexual intimacy of millions of women around the world. This work is done in so many ways, and certification in sexual intimacy is just another way for women to start fully owning their sexuality and pleasure. We’re creating a movement where it’s OK to talk about sex and sexual intimacy and to own yourself as a sexual being, and we invite you to come along for the ride.
It’s time to end the generational impact around the roles of women and sex, so join us this week and find out why we decided to create this program, some important factors about it, and some of the exciting things you can expect from it. We talk about the importance of disassembling internalized shame we have absorbed from the patriarchy and share our hopes, dreams, and plans for the sexual intimacy program.
You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for WomenTM Podcast, episode 112.
Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for WomenTM Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.
Hello, Diamonds, good morning, 5:00am rollcall, enjoying life. Dr. Sonia here. Today I have a special podcast conversation, I think that would be the best way to put it, between myself and one of my favorite people in the world and also one of my favorite coaches in the world, Lisa Hadlestad. Lisa and I have been friends for many years now. And we both trained at The Life Coach School. And she has been such an inspiration to me as a person, as an evolving woman, and as a coach, and of course as a human being, just I can’t say enough about her.
And I had come up with this crazy idea a number of months ago and I talked to her about it. And I wanted to do a collaborative effort and work with her on a project and she said yes. And I was like, “Yeah, this is going to be so good.” So, this podcast episode is all about our upcoming project that we have been working on at this point and is going to be out in the world and birthed in the spring of 2023. And this project specifically addresses my goal to positively impact the sex lives of millions of women around the world. One day maybe it’ll even be billions.
But I know it’s something I can’t do alone. There’s a lot of people out there that are doing this work. And I want even more people to be out there doing this work. So, I asked Lisa if she would come and work with me on a project for sexual intimacy coaching school. Yes, a certification in sexual intimacy. So, for all of you people out there that are coaches, this program is for you and we are talking about this program. We’re talking about why we decided to do this program and some of the factors about this program, I am so excited for this project.
So, this is especially pertinent to any coaches that are out there this discussion today. And I just also want to make sure that everybody else, all the Diamonds, whether you’re a coach or not, listen to this episode. If you know any coaches, get the word out and then of course at the end I will be talking about OYSN, Own Your Sexuality Now and how it is opening for enrollment at the end of November and we start in January. And Own Your Sexuality Now, it’s going to only be offered live one time a year in January, January through March is the live time.
So, I am telling you now, save the dates, get ready, we start at the beginning of January and in the meantime enjoy this episode when I talk about my hopes and dreams and the plan for the sexual intimacy coaching program. Alright, love you all, Diamonds, take care, have a great day.
Sonia: Hi. How are you doing, Lisa?
Lisa: I am so good. I love, okay, here’s the thing. I have loved so much any time I get to connect with you as a friend. And this is the first time we’re really connecting as colleagues to talk about what you do as a sex coach and why it is so important and how lifechanging it is. And I know how passionate you are about it. And when I was thinking about this conversation, a question that came up for me is here’s what I’d love for you to do is what is sex coaching? And why is nobody talking about it a lot in the mainstream coaching arena?
Sonia: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, what is sex coaching? So, for me I think each individual sex coach does it a little bit differently. So, I bring my experience and my training to the table. So, I’m a medical doctor. I’m a pediatric radiologist, so I understand the body and physically how it works. And then I’m also a trained sexual counsellor. So, I took a year and I did in person training as a sexual counsellor. So, I bring that work into it. And then I also wanted to work in a sex toy store because I didn’t want to just know some of it and not all of it.
So, I actually worked in a sex toy store and got trained as a sex toy educator as well so that there’s that aspect of things too. And of course, I’m a master certified life coach. So, I bring all those things together and that’s what becomes the foundation for life coaching. So, what is life coaching. And people often ask, “How is that different from sexual therapy or counselling”, and things like that. So, for me it brings all those things together. And I work with my clients. I am not the one that is telling the client what they need to do in their life.
I am finding out what’s happening in their life, what did they want to work on? So, the people I work with, they’re the ones that determine what their goals are. And then I bring all the training and information that I have to it. And it’s a kind of a collaborative effort and we work together. And then we get the people to where they need to go. They don’t have to do this journey on their own. They have a guide.
So, I kind of see myself as if we’re in the jungle or something. I’m the person that’s got the machete that’s kind of hacking away and helping to get to that final goal, wherever it is that we want to go. And along the way I’ll say, “Yeah, maybe not eat that berry, maybe try this instead.” Or right around the corner there’s a snake that we don’t want to get poisoned with. So as a coach I’m looking at the thoughts, and the feelings, and the actions that come all together to result in being in a place we don’t necessarily want to be around sexual intimacy.
And then taking those three things, thoughts, feelings, actions and kind of bringing it together and using that to guide us in the direction that we want to. In fact, I like to think of it as thoughts, and emotions, and actions, and tea, tea time because I’m such a tea drinker. So, it’s just having some tea time with Dr. Sonia and let’s work on this stuff and get to where you need to go. The second question that you had for me was, why are not more people doing sex coaching?
Lisa: Yeah. Or just talking about it. As coaches we both have a lot of social media connections with other coaches. And I have seen, you know, I feel like I’ve seen it all in the realms of what you can actually coach on but sex coaching is not something that comes across my screen that much. And I had never thought of it either. I thought, that’s, you know, sex coaching, sex counselling, all of that, that’s for doctors, or that’s for something else. And I know it’s not.
Sonia: Yeah. It’s something that’s very needed, very needed in this world. And at the same time, it’s almost like the hot stove. Nobody wants to touch it. Nobody knows how to go and access or approach it. So, they’re like, “I don’t know how to deal with it.” Or people are like, “I’m having my own sexual intimacy issues. I can’t coach on it for somebody else.” But if we think about it from that perspective, we all have our own issues around life in general. And yet we can be life coaches and we can still make a difference for people.
And so, it can be the same way with sex coaching. So, for me, it’s like go where others have not gone before, that type of concept. I don’t mind being the Star Trek of sex.
Lisa: I love that.
Sonia: Going some places. I’m relatively comfortable talking about just about anything to do with sex. And so, for me, I have this goal that I want to impact millions of women around the world to own their sexuality and to enjoy themselves. But I realize that I can’t necessarily do this all by myself. That this is something that it’s going to take a tribe, it’s going to take a group of coaches to be out there and to impact their clients. So, if their client comes to them and says, “I’m having sexual intimacy issues.” They won’t be like, “I didn’t hear that.”
Lisa: Right. Or let’s get, you know, let’s hook you up with a specialist. And so, I mean that brings to mind, my brain moves – my mouth moves fast and my brain moves faster and sometimes they don’t meet up. But when you were talking, you know what was running through my mind is there are so many relationship coaches. And the way I used to think about it, I’ve coached women too on their relationships. You can, you may not necessarily but you can have a really strong relationship with your partner and still not be having a good sexual relationship with your partner.
And I remember as a younger newer coach I should say, a newer coach especially wanting to steer clear around anything having to do with sex, with the physicality, with touching, with libido, with being turned on. Because I have no understanding of how to apply what I knew as a coach, thought work, using our thoughts, our feelings, our actions to that. That all felt like something that a ‘professional’ needed to address. And you know what’s really interesting is I have an amazing relationship with my husband.
We’ve been married 34 years but especially, well, when I hit menopause, and my body started to change, and my libido changed, and my parts changed, and my experience of sex changed. I was like, “Oh, I’m having some trouble here.” And this is not for me relational, this isn’t how I feel about my husband. This is how I feel about my body and my turn on response or lack of it. And how I feel when I’m having sex. And I’m going to pause here because I’ve been talking but just what’s coming up for you when I say that?
Sonia: Yeah, a 100%. I focus on a person’s relationship with themselves. In terms of being a sexual being, we have to acknowledge that we have a sexual relationship with ourselves and that’s our first and best lover. And this is where self-pleasure comes in. So often we kind of shift the focus and when we talk about sex and sexual intimacy we’re shifting the focus to our partner as that is our only source and not recognizing when we acknowledge ourselves as a sexual being, a component of that is our relationship with ourselves.
If we don’t grow that part of ourselves and that part of our relationship and acknowledge that we are sexual beings, it starts with us and then it fans out there into other relationships. So that’s an important aspect of it. I’m going to go back to where you were mentioning also how you can have a wonderful loving relationship with your partner and still the sexual intimacy component is not there. And we don’t exactly know what to do. We haven’t been given the skills and the tools to do this.
And this is what I want to do is to help people have those skills and tools and to recognize how they can shift their thoughts, and feelings, and actions around sexual intimacy if they have the tools. So that’s kind of the important aspect of it. Our society says that sex should come easy. If it doesn’t come easy there’s a problem and you just stop doing it.
That’s kind of [crosstalk], it’s like a switch, either it works and the light comes on, the electricity flows through and the light comes on or you flip the switch and nothing happens. And well, I guess you’re just not going to use that part of your life anymore.
Lisa: Yeah, that’s totally right. And also, I think about where I learned about what good sex is, is television and movies, and books, which are all written to stimulate us and to kind of idealize. So, I grew up and spent the majority of my adult life believing that if I couldn’t orgasm at the same time as my husband, that there was something wrong with me. And I am telling you, I mean I could give you all the things that I grew up believing just because of what I see. And what we see we respond to, we internalize it and then we turn it against ourselves, right?
Sonia: A 100%, yeah, we have such a narrow concept of sex and sexual intimacy. And like you say, we learn it from the TV, from movies. Now, recognize that they’ve got to get their commercials in. They have to get everything done in a minute at the most. If you have a sex scene that lasts two minutes, it’s a really long sex scene. So, everything is supposed to be done in two seconds flat. So that correlates with, a woman has to get excited, her partner’s erection, if they’re in a heterosexual relationship, has to work right.
Everybody has to, the libido has to be engaged at the same time, boom, boom, boom, boom. There are so many factors related to sex and sexual intimacy. And when they all line up, that’s great. But if they don’t ‘line up’ the way they do in the movies or whatever, we don’t have any room to say that’s our right, this is normal. We immediately go to this is not the way it looks in the books, or in the movies, or whatever. So, there’s something wrong with me.
And so often women are socialized to believe that there’s something wrong with them, the default answer is there’s something wrong with me in some way. And that’s not, there’s something wrong with the society that has such a narrow definition. We’ve been having sex through the millennia, through millions and millions of years. But we’ve only had sex and things like that going on for the last 200 years in terms of the media. And so, before that we were not as worried about what sex looked like and how it had to look and things like that.
And then we have all these rules and restrictions as to how it should be. And that you should have a climax simultaneously and all these things. Oh, my goodness, it just weighs it all down. And what we’re forgetting about is the fun and the pleasure of the whole thing.
Lisa: Yes. And here are two things I’m thinking of. I am thinking of fun and pleasure. I have a question I want to ask you about that, that I think is going to link into this. That sexual pleasure is really a feminist issue, right?
Sonia: Yeah, a 100%, because the way women have pleasure is not necessary the same way as somebody that’s a penis owner. So, people that are vulva owners will have pleasure in a different way than people that are penis owners. And I don’t want to put the focus on heterosexual sexual relationships. And I don’t want to say that those are more important or that’s [crosstalk], all different types of relationships are great. But if we’re talking about the way we have been conditioned in society we have been taught that men have penises and women have vaginas.
Yes, women have vaginas but that is not what correlate to the penis. Your clitoris correlates with the penis. So, we need to put our focus, if you’re a vulva owner on your clitoris but that is ignored.
Lisa: Well, it really is or it’s narrowed down to it’s just that little button. You know what I mean.
Sonia: Let’s rub that button a couple of minutes, but that’s not the important thing. The important thing, pleasure needs to come from the vagina. The vagina is not made that way because we give birth to babies. We give birth to footballs. If we had our pleasure center and all the nerving, the thousands of nerve endings within our vagina we would never do that. The human race would end because we might have one, we’d never do that again because it would be so painful because all the nerves are there.
So, the way that evolution has made it is that all of our pleasure zone is in our clitoris, which is in the vulva region on top, safe and sound, which is a good place. But we’re not putting the focus there. So, we are taught as women that our pleasure comes from pleasing our partners. We aren’t taught that our pleasure comes from finding what our clitoris feels like and stimulating those areas. So, it’s so much that’s here. And then we say we’re broken. We’ve never even stimulated the part that’s supposed to give us pleasure.
Lisa: No. I mean literally I know adult women, well-educated successful women who have never had an orgasm and think that they can’t. But it’s only, you know, it’s this that we’re talking about. And I want to just kind of roll back for one second. To me, sexual pleasure is a feminist issue, obviously to you too, it has to do with liberation, it has to do with so much, it has to do with embodiment. As women, we’re taught to supersede all of our body’s functions, and pleasure, and warning signals, and what it doesn’t like anyway. But here’s the thing I wanted to say and this is just my conjecture. I’m curious what you think.
Whether it’s a heterosexual couple, whether it’s two women together and right now I’ll just stick with that. I think we are so socialized as women as you said, regardless of what gender our partner is to put the focus on our partner’s pleasure over ours. What am I trying to say here? You know how I think, Sonia, spiral, spiral, spiral. But I’ll just say this, I have had many heterosexual women say to me things like in our work and my friends say things like, “I’m worried, it’s going to take too long.”
The other thing is, “When they put their hands on parts of my body where I’ve gained weight, or I’m too soft, or I’m too big it makes me uncomfortable.” The focus is there. And I don’t know that, does that not exist within female partners too, just this focus on self-consciousness and needing the other person, the focus on their experience rather than your own?
Sonia: Yeah, it can but the thing about relationships with women with women and non-binary with non-binary and whatever the mix is. We don’t have the superimposed rules of society onto it. So, it’s almost like you get to make your own rules. So, it’s not quite as much as a concern. But it all comes down to what a person is thinking. So, if the person is socialized in environments where they have to look sexy, be a certain size, color, shape, whatever in order to engage in sex. Ultimately you have to give yourself the permission for sexual intimacy to engage in sexual intimacy.
So, if you’ve decided that you’re going to adhere to the rules that society has raised you in, then it doesn’t matter what your partner’s gender or what they look like, you’re going to have those rules self-imposed. It just so happens that people that tend to be in non-heterosexual relationships have gotten rid of a lot of those rules. And so, they might have been questioning a number of the other rules. They’ve gotten rid of the rules that says they have to be in a heterosexual relationship.
So along that rule they might have also gotten rid of the rule that says their body has to be a certain size, shape or color in order to be sexy and to engage in sex.
Lisa: Thank you for speaking a little more deeply to that. I appreciate that.
Sonia: Yeah. And I think that that’s where that comes from. But going back to what you’re saying about, you have to put your focus on your partner’s pleasure. And I think that it’s almost like an exchange is happening here. You focus on your partner’s pleasure, your partner gets their pleasure, and as a reward then you can kind of get some pleasure. It’s almost like your partner has control over your pleasure and if it [crosstalk] or not. As opposed to this concept that you are your own sexual being.
And this goes back to what I was saying in the beginning where we have to become our own sexual being and our first sexual partner has to be ourselves. So, we have an understanding of our body and we’re not waiting for our partner, man, woman, non-binary, whatever to tell us about our body.
Lisa: Yeah. Well, and this is interesting, Sonia, and I don’t know if it’s come across in your clientele but a lot of people I know and I used to think this too, thought that sex, the definition of sex was penile intercourse, having. And so, when you’re thinking about sex if it’s penetration, a lot of women, and this is news for a lot of women. I think there’s better information out there now. But a lot of women, the placement of their clitoris is not such, that it will be stimulated by the action of the penis. Do you understand?
So, then it’s like, well, if sex is penetration, and I know I’m talking from a heteronormative stance here. But I just want to kind of bring this to the forefront. And the woman is getting no stimulation that will allow her to orgasm. And it’s kind of like, then what?
Sonia: Yeah. So, the missing piece is that our pleasure comes from our clitoris and we have a right to stimulate that and to ask for the stimulation. But having that conversation and asking for what you need when you have been given instructions that sex is penetrative, and only 15% of women will have an orgasm from penetration alone.
Lisa: Say that again. Say that again.
Sonia: Stimulation to our clitoris either while we’re being penetrated, or before, or after. You get to decide when and how you want this done. But somewhere along the way there needs to be some attention paid to our vulva region and our clitoris. And if we’re lucky enough to have our clitoris that’s closer to our vagina, so it gets the stimulation during penetrative sex then yes, you might be one of those lucky 15%. But the majority of women are going to need that stimulation to their clitoris.
Lisa: And I mean that’s incredible. And how many women don’t know that, 15%.
Sonia: Yeah. And so, we default to there’s something wrong with us. So, this is where going back to – this is why I want to get the information out to coaches. So instead of saying, “Well, you’re going to need to go see a specialist. I don’t know, maybe check in with Dr. Sonia or somebody like that.” We can get the information out to the coaches so they can say, “You’re fine, this is normal. Let’s work on this, let’s talk.” But recognize also that coaches are people too. So, we have our own stuff around sex and sexuality that we need to work on.
And this is why I asked you, Lisa, to help me because you coach the coaches. And so, for both of us together to work on this so we can help people and see where they are, what their thoughts are around sex and sexuality. Do they want to do a deep dive and look at their own concepts around themselves as a sexual being. And then go forth from that place. So, this is like a double benefit, they learn about themselves and what’s going on in their lives and their own sexuality. And then they get comfortable having the conversation and talking to other people about this.
I don’t know. In my work that I do with Own Your Sexuality Now which is my group, that I actually coach women and do the sexual intimacy work there. So many women have become empowered around just talking about anything in their life and taking ownership of that. But specifically, because they’re in the course and they’re talking about sex, they’re more willing to talk about it just in general. So, this is what’s happening that I’m seeing with the women that I work with. And so, taking it to the next level to work with the coaches, it benefits their lives but it also benefits so many other people’s lives too.
Lisa: Yeah. And I think you just spoke to something really important Sonia, is the importance of the containers where we see our clients because certainly we might as a coach be totally open to talking about sexuality and sexual, you know, how to, sex coaching related things. But if we don’t have the container prepared, so if the client comes in and doesn’t realize that that can be put on the table too. And I think, so I’m just going to speak to the audience a little bit here for a minute.
When Sonia’s talking about this, she’s talking about the sex coaching advanced training that she and I are working on. Sonia’s work is so incredibly valuable. I have had Dr. Sonia teach a class in my group. I am learning from her. And we just started noticing how uncomfortable sex coaching or talking about sex within the client coach container can be. And so, we have been working on putting together a beautiful, beautiful training, a sex coach training that not only helps, is going to help coaches learn how to help their clients in that area.
But also, like Sonia said, help coaches work on that within themselves because we need to have our own sexual safety and sexual understanding. And I always think of it like pleasure alignment, all of that. We need to know that for ourselves in order to bring that to our clients. So that said, Sonia, the question that I want to ask is, I kind of talked about this a little bit at the beginning or mentioned it. I always thought to be a sex coach that you had to be a physician, or something like that.
And I guess the question that I want to ask is, it feels weird for me to ask you this because we’re working together on this but I want the audience to hear it. What do you need to be a sex coach?
Sonia: I think you need curiosity. I think you need a confidence and a comfort in talking about these issues. I think you need understanding that you can go a certain level and then if something’s needed beyond that then you have resources where you can send your clients to if you need to. But I think that there needs to be some basic knowledge. And so that’s what we’re working on right now to make sure that the basic knowledge is there. But a lot of it is comfort, and caring, and creating this container of safety so you can explore with the client around the issue of sex and sexual intimacy.
And then also having a resource where if there’s something that’s beyond your knowledge base that you can connect and tap into and say, “Hey, this is what I need help with.” And that’s kind of what I’m here for. So, it’s kind of like if you don’t necessarily want to, you can go out and get the training and take a year or two years or whatever to do the training. And there’s some great programs out there, definitely. But if you don’t necessarily want to be a sex coach a 100% of the time, but you want to be able to talk around issues of intimacy.
Say you’re a relationship coach and you want to be comfortable if a client comes to you and says, “Hey, I’m having some sexual intimacy issues. Can I talk to you about them?” Instead of being like, “No, I don’t know anything about it.” And it’s kind of like trauma informed. If you have some information on it, you’re not the expert on it, but at the same time you can address some issues. And just knowing that you can address some issues with your clients around sex and sexual intimacy. And knowing that there’s resources out there, and knowing that there’s places that they can take it beyond.
But the fact that you just need to get comfortable with what’s going on in your life as a coach and as an individual around sex and sexual intimacy. And then be able to create that container and provide that container for your client. So, this is what this work is about, so that there’s only so many people that I can help. I can definitely continue to do my work which I love doing but I really want to make sure that if you’re a money coach, money and sex are so closely tied together.
But you could actually address some of those things and then go beyond there. Or if you’re a relationship coach or even if you’re a weight loss coach.
Lisa: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. It’s just like money, where doesn’t it cross into?
Sonia: Yeah. Somebody might be like, “I’d really like to ask about this but I don’t know if I can.” So, if you have gone through this training and you’re like, “Hey, yeah, I’m an intimacy coach. I can talk about these things. Ask me the questions and I will provide that safe place where we can discuss this topic.” That’s what we’re talking about.
Lisa: Yeah. I love that. I love that. One question, when you were talking about yourself earlier you said you had been trained as a sex counsellor. Can you just briefly tell us the difference between being a sex counsellor and a sex or intimacy coach?
Sonia: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, I was trained as a sexual counsellor. So as the program is over a year, we talk about a number of different issues related to physical, body type of issues, around sexual orientation, all different areas around sex just in general, kink and different things. That’s really in depth. So, if you just want to be more of an intimacy coach where you’re able to talk around sex and basic understanding and be comfortable with it, and provide that safe environment where your client wants to coach around something.
You don’t necessarily need to go through a year or two year program, that’s not necessarily going to be your focus. If you want to, yes, those programs are out there but this is a great place to start and then go from there. I’ve had people that I have trained that is a money coach but she wanted to be able to also bring that intimacy coaching in with her clients. So, I’ve done that work with her.
And so now she does, she provides those intimacy coaching with her clients as well. But she mainly does the investment stuff. But for her that was something that she wanted to bring in together. So, it’s kind of more along those lines.
Lisa: Thank you. And just also curious, in your role as a sex coach only, leaving out the sexual counselling or anything in your role as the midlife sex coach, do your clients come to you wanting to know what to do, wanting action based?
Sonia: Yeah. And I’m very good at talking about that. For me and I think it’s important for any person that’s doing intimacy or sex coaching, or whatever, is to make sure that their client are checking things out with their doctor. Make sure that they’ve gone to the gynecologist or urologist depending on what parts they have. And that they’re getting that side of it taken care of as well. And then it is, a lot of it is the thoughts and the feelings that are in there. But then it does come to action. And that’s one of the things about coaching because we are focused on the results as well.
And so, this in some ways separates from the sexual therapist, there was a place for a sexual therapist, definitely. If we’re talking about family of origin and trauma around sex, those are things that definitely need to be seen with a sexual therapist, 100%. But if we’re talking about, hey, my libido’s not the way it was before, obviously get that checked out with your doctor. But at the same time, that’s okay because we know that libido shifts around and it gets in the place of neutrality.
And then we have to work with our mind, our largest sex organ is our mind so we have to get that kicked in and we can focus on, okay, well, this is something I might want to work on over a period of time, a shorter period of time, a goal oriented type of thing. And then let’s look at our thoughts and feelings, and actions, and how they are leading to the results we currently have and the results that we actually want to have. So, if it’s something along those guidelines then it’s good to be able to be comfortable and to help your clients work towards a goal.
Lisa: Yeah. And that’s going to be encompassed in this training?
Sonia: Yeah, definitely, a 100%, yeah. The way that the training is going to be, I am so excited for this.
Lisa: I wish you all could see Sonia’s face when she talks about this because she lights up like a flipping spotlight.
Sonia: It’s one I want to do. So, the first part of it is like a deep dive into you the coach, you as the sexual being, before you can help anybody else you have to look into yourself as a sexual being. So, we get to do the work on you so it’s like an in depth weekend that we’re going to do this work on you, what your thoughts are around sex, how you might want to change things, what’s going on right now in your life. We go through anatomy, go through all those different things.
Lisa: Yeah. And also unearthing some of those conscious and unconscious biases that we’ve internalized.
Sonia: Yeah. I call them the sexual myths. Work on those sexual myths before you go out there with this misinformation and then you’re trying to help clients but you have archaic ideas and beliefs. That needs to be really looked at. We need to pick them up and look and go, “Is this a belief you want to keep? Is this helping you around sex and sexuality?” So, we focus on that and you first and then we start in with the different ideas and concepts that we’re going to be talking about in relation to coaching, in relation to your clients.
So, we work on your slate and clean that thing up and then we kind of go from there. So, it’s pure magic. And of course, I was like, “I need somebody to help me with the coaching side of things, with the training side of things.” I do my magic and I love talking about sex and everything but then I need somebody to balance me out. And as we’re doing this conversation right now, I love how your background is all cool, and black and white, and soothing. And my background is like bam, color, it’s got passion, it’s got all those things. And so, it’s like two sides of the whole that need to come together of course.
Lisa: Yeah. I mean I think just our friendship is evidence of we clique well, we connect well, we balance one another out. And here’s the thing, Sonia, you have a number of amazing programs for Owning Your Own Sexuality, Your Empowered Sexuality. Your teaching is brilliant already. It’s unique. It’s impactful. It’s made a difference in so many women’s lives. You’ve worked with groups of physicians, correct?
Lisa: Just so much. And what we want to do now is bring this to coaches. And so, we have to look at it all because coaches could just take one of your programs but it doesn’t answer any of the questions that have to do with how do I talk about this? I can learn it for myself. Now, how do I talk about this with comfort with my clients? How do I broach these topics? How do I know where lines are between what I can help my clients with and what needs to be referred out somewhere else?
So, I think that your brilliant idea of taking what you already know and creating, using it as the base of knowledge into this beautiful container of a training for coaches, so that they can help their clients, it’s so, so needed.
Sonia: And it’s needed, yes, it’s like if the work is needed it’s work I love doing. And it’s work that I want all my coaches out there to have this information, to have this training, to know that they can be there for themselves and that they can be there for their clients as well. And from a place of comfort and safety. Safety is so important when we’re talking about this information, yes.
Lisa: It is, it is, safety and will this address intersectionality? This isn’t all just about heteronormative relationships.
Sonia: 100%, so I like to say that I am the poster child for intersectionality, being Black, and pansexual, and polyamorous, and 4’11. So many things come together to make me who I am. And then I put that into that training and definitely, so intersectionality is something that’s so important. And something that we need to address because your clients are going to come to you with their intersectionality.
And what we do in this training is give you that knowledge and understanding of some things that they may be dealing with like systems of oppression and biases that are affecting them and how it influences their sexual expression and who they are as a sexual being. And so, we definitely address that as well, so that’s something that is definitely important. And it’s part of making that safe container.
Lisa: Yeah. It’s part of that creating as you said, a zone of sexual safety both for yourself and for all of your clients. I love it. So, I’m going to just ask some questions because people listening might want to know, number one, this is a training for people who are already certified coaches, correct?
Sonia: Yes it is, they can certify in whatever program that they certify. But have the basic training as a coach already and then I’m going to add through this program, add additional training on top of that, yes.
Lisa: Got it. So, you and I are both Life Coach School alumni. The coaches that take this training do not necessarily, they don’t have to have been certified through The Life Coach School, okay, great. What length are we looking at here? How long is the program?
Sonia: Yeah, the program is 12 weeks. So, it has that intense weekend at the beginning, and then we have the 12 weeks. And we’re also having another intense on intersectionality as well because I think that that’s something that’s important. So, we have a little focus on that but it’s a total of 12 weeks. And so perfect length of time. And then it can go on beyond that as well where we can get together monthly and check in. So, you always have that resource in terms of if any questions you want to ask me and then you can check in, in between sessions as well.
Lisa: Yeah. I mean having you, having access to your vast bank of knowledge and practice around this has been just one of the best resources, gifts that I’ve had as a coach and so good. What else do we want people to know, Sonia?
Sonia: That is a good question.
Lisa: No. The reason we’re laughing about this is because it’s in the works and we are planning.
Lisa: Yes. And so, what I do know, I’m going to switch out of the role of the interviewer here and this is coming in spring of 2023. So, you’ll definitely be hearing a lot more about this with a lot of particulars. But we just wanted to get together and talk about, why aren’t people talking about sex coaching because it seems like a topic that just feels too scary, too out of people’s realm of expertise. And Sonia and I as her partner in this enterprise really want to take away that obstacle so that all coaches, anybody that is wanting to learn can bring in this, how vital is sex to our lives?
How vital is pleasure to our lives? If you’re a feminist coach, if you’re a body positivity coach, you know what I mean? Sex flows into all of this.
Sonia: A 100%, there’s not a focus or an area in our lives where sex does not come into play in some way. And so whatever type of coach you are, you need this training, let me just say. Even if you never even coach another client, you need this training just because our concepts and our ideas around sex and how we were trained in this patriarchal society. It’s so important for us to be able to identify the thoughts and what’s happening in terms of what we think about sex and sexuality for men, for women, for non-binary gendered people.
We need to have an understanding of that and then we can take it into whatever area that we do. So, this is a training for everyone. And the fact that it’s only 12 weeks I think is also something that’s really important because people want that. They don’t necessarily want to be the sex coach but they want to have this training. And so, I’m always getting people that are contacting me and asking me, “Do I have some type of a training program?” And so, I’m hearing you. I’m hearing what you’re asking and we are putting this together. And it is coming in the spring of 2023.
And we’re pretty excited about this. I have the best person in the world to be doing this program with, so Lisa, I just want to thank you. I came up with this idea and I was like, “Lisa, we have to do this.” And she could have said anything. She could have said, “What? What?” But instead, she was like, “Hell, yes.”
Lisa: I did say, “Hell yes.” I did because it is important to me and also Sonia, I just have, you know, I have known you for a long time now. And your work and the knowledge you have, and the passion you put into it and your mission which really is – tell us what your mission is actually, Sonia, instead of me putting it into words.
Sonia: Yeah. My mission is just to help women and I kind of expanded that to help everyone. So, they are comfortable with their sexuality, they’re able to express their sexuality, that they recognize that 100% they’re worthy and deserving of desire, and pleasure, and enjoyment around sex and sexuality, that it does not have to be a shame based thing. That it’s just a normal part of our lives and if we can have that normalcy there and if we can have a comfort level and we’re okay having these conversations, then ultimately we get that sexual expression of who we are.
And I think that is a basic human right, so 100% this is the reason I was put on this Earth.
Lisa: And you’ve been saying that to me for as long as I’ve known you and it just feels so authentic and so true. And it also, you know, this is about – I can’t think of the word right now, it’s a little early for me and my brain to be working. But this is about disassembling internalized patriarchy and disassembling internalized shame. I think probably shame is the cloak or maybe it’s more like the villain behind the curtain of almost every obstacle to pleasure and intimacy, and there’s shame in there. And it’s so important.
So yeah, when you asked me my brain did a couple of things. First it said I don’t know enough and then I knocked that off because I knew that you were going to make sure that I knew more than enough. And you have been so supportive and so generous with that. And the other thing I thought was anything I can do to support you doing your work in the world and broadening the circle of people who are able to do this work in the world, I’m totally in, I’m 100% in.
Sonia: Yes. And I want everybody that’s hearing this to recognize that it’s not only my work, it’s all of our work. So, we get to do this, come together as a team and make a difference in so many other people’s lives. We touch, if I touch one person then that person their life gets touched and they go out. And I see it even with the work that I’m doing right now, that I do sex coaching predominantly with women. And then they give that information to their daughters. And it doesn’t matter if their daughter is 60 or if their daughter is 12.
They give their daughter permission to be a beautiful sexual being and that has impact on so many, or they’ll tell their friends. So, this work is done in so many different ways. This is just another way for this work to be done where we can impact another person’s life and make a difference in this world. So come, come and join us.
Lisa: Come join us. I mean my big thing is always liberation. And what I mean is just liberating ourselves from the shame and the internalized I’m this, I’m that, I can’t do this, I can’t do that. And it’s time to end the generational impact of boxes, and rules, and the traditional teachings around the roles of women and sex. We need to own our own sexuality. We need to own our own pleasure. And there is, you know, we have a lot of talks in the coaching world about selfish. And it’s like if you aren’t going to be for yourself, who are you actually going to be for?
But this is the thing, when we fully own our own sexuality, and our own pleasure, and our right to have access to it our way, I really want the people listening to think about how that impacts everything that you do in the world, when you own yourself as a sexual being, capable and worthy of designing or and God dang it, demanding of pleasure so to speak. Demanding our right to pleasure and knowing how to, yeah, access that.
Sonia: Yeah. Come with us and do this work.
Lisa: Come with us and do this work, yeah. So, Sonia, what I really want to do is, you know, this is coming in the spring of 2023, but if people are interested now, and want to get their name on the list because I’m fairly certain that this is going to fill up and then some.
Sonia: A 100%.
Lisa: Yeah. And is there a place where people can enquire, get their name on a waiting list to get more direct information to their inbox?
Sonia: Yeah, definitely. We have a link and we’re going to share that link in the show notes and just click on that link and sign up and we will definitely be sending you updates and information on the program as it’s evolving. And definitely when it opens for enrollment in 2023 you will be the first to know.
Lisa: Beautiful. Beautiful. So, I am thinking, one thing that I just want to – I was thinking, what do each of us want the people listening to know, what’s one thing? And the one thing that I want the people listening to know is something that we’ve already talked about and something that Sonia said. This training, you do not have to be somebody who wants to be a sex or intimacy coach to benefit deeply and to be able to benefit your clients deeply from this training, you don’t have to. So, if you’re like, “Well, but I don’t want to be a sex coach”, that isn’t what this is about.
This is about bringing an integral part of the experience of being human, your already well established coaching repertoire, and knowledge, and comfort, and safety.
Sonia: A 100%. And also, if you can coach on sex, I tell you, you can coach on anything. So, this is a skillset where you are willing to go anywhere. So, if you get comfortable around this, there’s no area that you’re not going to be comfortable with, honestly.
Lisa: Absolutely. And Sonia, is there one thing that you would like everyone to know? I know there’s more but one thing.
Sonia: I think it is what we talked about, that this work is for everybody. This is not just one person’s mission and goal in life. Obviously this is my passion and what I love to do. But I also recognize that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done here around sex and sexual intimacy and it’s not just for one person. If everybody can join in this movement, what we’re really talking about is creating a movement where wherever you get your coaching, you recognize that it’s okay to talk about sex and sexual intimacy. And that your coach is going to be comfortable around that.
So, we don’t know at any moment when our clients may need to be like, “I’m having this issue and I wish that there was somebody that I could talk to about it.” But if they see that little teeny logo that says that you have the certification in intimacy training, and that you are willing to talk about this, that makes a huge difference as well.
Lisa: Absolutely, thank you for that. Okay, Sonia, I have loved this conversation. This is so fun. We have talked about getting together for a podcast episode before and it’s just never. And you know what? It needed to wait until now because this is the thing.
Sonia: This is the thing.
Lisa: This is the thing.
Sonia: That we are going to work on together.
Lisa: Yeah. So, there is going to, as Sonia said, there will be information, a link in the show notes, if you’re curious about it, some contact information, you can certainly reach out to Sonia or me with any questions as well and Sonia, thank you so much. Thank you for asking me, for inviting me. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for wanting to make the work that you love bigger and more accessible to our coaching community and to just people in the world. It’s so important.
Sonia: Thank you so much. Thank you for agreeing to do this work and thank you so much for having this conversation with me. I appreciate it.
Lisa: My pleasure.
Diamonds, thank you so much for joining me for this special podcast episode. Thank you so much for listening to me and Lisa talk about our hopes and dreams and our plans for the future. And if you are interested in signing up for getting on the waitlist for the Sexual Intimacy School then there is a link in the show notes. Go ahead and click on it and just sign up, so we have you on our waitlist and we’ll be telling you more about the program pretty soon. Okay, take care, I love you all, Diamonds.
This is a public service announcement. OYSN is starting in January of 2023, Diamonds. And for you that may not be familiar. OYSN stands for Own Your Sexuality Now. It is my signature program for women and I’m only offering OYSN once a year. I love this group and I want you to be in this group with me. Enrollment opens for a short time at the end of November and into the beginning of December. So, let’s start the new year with a new empowered sexual you.
And as always, I like to ask questions so here is a question for you Diamonds. How is your sex life? No, really, on a scale of one to ten, how is your sex life? You know I’m all about the intimacy in midlife. If you rated the intimacy in your life as less than an eight then we need to talk. I’m personally inviting you to check out my Own Your Sexuality Now intimate edition. The last group that went through this, they were on fire. Women of all ages from 35 to 65 were learning about their bodies, expressing their sexuality, empowering their lives and doing it on their terms.
Couples who had not had sex in years found a new level of sexual fun and established new intimacy. Other women learned about their bodies and tapped into their pleasure zone. Another one learned about setting boundaries and focusing on her pleasure for the first time in her life. Another Diamond got the independence she needed to change her whole life. Amazing.
OYSN is not just about sex, it’s about empowerment, and it’s about pleasure. And the new class is starting in January of 2023. So come join an intimate group of women for 12 weeks and literally change your life. Let’s create that amazing sexual intimacy that you deserve. If you are in your 30s, or 40s, or 50s, or even older, this is your time and this is the place for you. You potentially have 30 to 50 more years of sexual intimacy ahead of you. What do you want that intimacy to look like?
Let’s get real and let’s talk about what’s going on with your body, your libido, your life, let’s see what we can do to kickstart that intimacy. This program is for you whether or not you have a partner, this is about you and sexual intimacy with yourself first and then with anybody else that you choose. So, if you’re a woman who wants to enjoy all aspects of her life then this is the program for you, it finally gets to be your time.
So, click on the link in the show notes or on my website soniawrightmd.com and grab a copy of my Busy Woman’s Guide to Enhanced Intimacy. And get on the waitlist for Own Your Sexuality Now, the intimate edition. I can’t wait to see you. Talk to you soon, Diamonds. Dr. Sonia out.